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The public library is a foundational institution for informed and inclusive democracies, and it plays an important role in civic dialogue and debate. Calgary Public Library must always act and appear to act in a non-partisan way, especially during elections and referendums, while supporting the democratic process, freedom of expression, and informed discussion on political issues.
The Library may engage in non-partisan activities that encourage political participation and voter awareness. Examples of such activities include using physical library space to serve as polling stations or library physical or virtual space to host all-candidate meetings/forums or to host programs and discussions about relevant current issues.
The Library will not support, endorse, or advocate the viewpoints or beliefs of any one candidate, political party, partisan organization or group. Posting or distributing partisan election or campaign material in Libraries or on Library property is not permitted. Elected officials, candidates for political office, representatives of political parties, and registered third party advertisers may not use open Library space or property to solicit or advocate among library users and may not use open Library space or property to make public statements or host media events, unless they are part of a shared Library program or announcement.
Political parties that wish to invite media to events within library meeting rooms must submit their request to Library staff in advance for approval. Please note that all video and photo capture of events must follow the Library’s guidelines.
Once the writ is dropped (Nomination Day in municipal elections) no elected official or candidate from that level of government will be invited to speak or present at library events, except for at all-candidates meetings, until after the election has concluded. Candidates, political parties, and registered third-party advertisers may not book any library spaces for meetings or other activities related to the election underway.
The Library’s Administration may deny or cancel a meeting room or facility booking when they reasonably believe that the proposed use is likely to or will include any prohibited activities or violations of the Political Use of Library Space policy.
The Library’s logo, slogans, or other intellectual property may not be printed, posted or distributed on any election-related campaign materials.
Nothing in this policy prohibits Calgary Public Library from promoting awareness of or providing information on elections as long as no particular candidate is promoted or excluded. This includes promoting awareness of activities or events in which all candidates in an election are invited to attend.
The Library and its grounds are not available for use by the public for the purpose of distributing petitions or literature, canvassing, surveying, or protesting.
Individuals who are conducting activities covered by this policy must not intimidate or harass library users; must not block, hinder, or impede travel to or from the Library, and must not disrupt the orderly operation of the Library and its services.
This policy does not include the surveying of groups or individuals done in conjunction with output measures or similar tools designed to quantify library use or satisfaction with library services.